City Thrift is one of the newer thrift stores in Overland Park. One location on Antioch and College Blvd. opened its doors well after I was hooked on bargain hunting. Being 10 minutes away, I was eager to explore its racks and shelves when I first heard about it. It’s spacious design and diverse selection impressed me immediately, just like Savers. They sell clothing, furniture, housewares, shoes, accessories and movies/books/music. Every category houses it’s own section, making the store easy to navigate.
One aspect that makes City Thrift stand out is it’s entirely non-profit. One hundred percent of funding goes toward City Union Mission, the store’s owner. The goal of City Union Mission is helping less fortunate people in impoverished countries by recycling and shipping all unsold store items to those countries.
“So not only does City Thrift help their customers spend less money on basic necessities, but they do their part to look out for our international brothers and sisters who may be struggling.”
Similar to Savers, City Thrift sponsors a variety of sales. Examples include 50% OFF clothing and accessories and $1 media day (books and movies are only a dollar). Unlike Savers, none of the sales is member-exclusive. It’s first-come, first-serve. Doors usually open at 7 a.m., so if you want the best selection – be there EARLY. On more than one occasion I’ve walked out of a 50% OFF sale with a bag of clothes for less than $30.
Two complaints I harbor toward City Thrift are the limited number of dressing rooms and narrow aisles. There are only three dressing rooms in City Thrift. When the store is dead, this doesn’t pose an issue. However, when the store is abuzz and everyone needs to try on their clothes – the waiting period can be grueling. Despite the spacious store design, the aisles are extremely narrow. It’s impossible to maneuver your cart past a fellow customer in the same aisle. It’s best to give up and go the other way unless you want to engage in an awkward shuffle with a stranger.
But the pros outweigh the cons, which is why I haven’t stopped shopping at City Thrift. I’m not going to surrender potential thrifting finds just because I sometimes have to wait for a dressing room and pick a different aisle if someone occupies the one I want. It’s worth the trouble when you see their extensive selection.
One of my friends recently got married. To celebrate her return from her honeymoon, we spent the day thrift shopping. Since she was new to OP, she’d been finding new places to shop. Our first stop was a place called TurnStyles. TurnStyles is run through Catholic Charities.
“As a self-identified thrift store expert and fashionista, I couldn’t believe I’d never visited TurnStyles – mostly because I’m Catholic! I give it two 👍🏼👍🏼. It’s now my new favorite store because of its lower prices, clean environment and organization.”
I was impressed with its organization. Everything had its place: women’s, men’s, children’s, furniture, books/movies, household items, and shoes. WE spent most of our time sifting through the women’s racks. After one dressing room trip, we found some winners. For me, it was a blue-checkered flannel, a purple polka-dot sweater, and a cream tank. My total was $9.65.
The reason it’s less expensive than other thrift stores is that each rack has one price. For example, items on the women’s racks were $3. This made it easy to calculate my total before getting to the register. Even though it’s smaller than Savers and City Thrift, it’s got a trendy vibe and a cleaner feel and smell. Normally my allergies start flaring up from the collection of dust, but that didn’t happen. It was a nice change!
I’ve shopped at different types of thrift stores, including a couple chains. In my first post, you read about my thoughts on Plato’s Closet, a youth-oriented store with several locations in Kansas. While Plato’s Closet does an excellent job serving its target, its atmosphere is too specific. After relying on Plato’s Closet for high school, I needed a new thrift store, and that led me to Savers.
Savers has three locations in Kansas. I visit two on a semi-regular basis. The first time I visited Savers, I was blown away by the spacious design and amount of merchandise. Unlike Plato’s Closet, Savers has a bigger layout that allows them effectively categorize items. The store carries everything from clothes to home decor to electronics to toys. Savers has lower prices than Plato’s Closet because they’re not restricted to name-brand items.
Savers is my go-to thrift store because I always find exactly what I’m looking for – even if I have to hit both locations. The reason is that Savers accepts donations on a daily basis, so the inventory is always changing. They celebrate holidays with huge sales that are tough to miss: 50% off everything around Christmas or 40% off dresses, purses, and shoes just because. I’m subscribed to their emails, so I’m always in the loop.
“If you’re like me and enjoy sales, I’d recommend becoming a Savers-card holder. As a member, you’ll gain access to exclusive member-only sales.”
Plato’s Closet has excellent merchandise, but I’m too old to shop there now. If you’re post-high school, I’d suggest Savers. If lower prices, endless inventory and constant sales aren’t enough for you, I don’t know what is.
To some, thrift stores are a place to find the cheapest crap. They’re unsanitary and disorganized. The only people who shop there are stringy, tacky or poor. While thrift stores are not the equivalent of a five-star hotel, they’re still relatively clean and organized. In my eyes, the one that wins the award for most stylish, contemporary items is Plato’s Closet.
Plato’s Closet targets high school students. They understand the need for students to save money while still sporting the latest trends. Their items fit every style whether goth, preppy, chic, sporty, vintage or hipster. The strategy for updating their selection is by purchasing items from their customers. All you have to do is bring in current name brand attire, and you’ll receive cash on the spot.
“You don’t feel like you’re in a thrift store when every item you look at is from a name-brand store you recognize, like American Eagle, Loft or J. Crew.”
In addition to receiving money for name brand clothing and accessories, you’ll enjoy Plato’s relaxing environment. From alternative music to comfy seating, you’ll shop comfortably for hours. You’ll browse endless attractive choices. I have been to Plato’s Closet dozens of times, but my greatest purchase was a $10 leather jacket. If you’re young and want to be hip, I’d recommend taking some time to check out Plato’s Closet and save some green.